Minerva Teichert (1888-1976) was a twentieth-century American artist, who spent most of her life residing in remote towns in the West, earnestly balancing the demands of family and ranching, and painting scenes of her beloved Western frontier. Her steady and significant production of art is remarkable for any artist, and particularly compelling when one considers her time constraints, inaccessibility of art supplies, distance from other artists and art centers, and lack of public attention. The success of women artists during the first half of the twentieth-century was dependent not only upon their artistic aptitude, but also upon external forces, such as family, friends, and mentors. As an artist during this era, Teichert benefitted especially from the circles of women who surrounded her, offering sympathy, encouragement, assistance, a ready network of support, and who enabled her to pursue her passion, which she succinctly described, “I must paint.” This thesis employs a methodological framework informed by feminist, collective conscience, and social network theories in order to elucidate an artist's vision that transcends feminist viewpoints and western heroic individualism. The reality of female networks in Teichert's life translates not only to the certainty of women within a Western mythology dominated by men but also to a powerful counter-narrative where collaboration and community are essential to the success of settlements in the American West. Here Teichert introduces an altogether different vision and story. In her pioneer paintings, composed during the 1930s and 1940s, one sees a reflection of her own life, and that of her pioneer ancestors, which emphasizes the feminine, the importance of collaboration, and the centrality of community.
College and Department
Humanities; Comparative Arts and Letters
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Scharffs, Deirdre Mason, "Refiguring the Wild West: Minerva Teichert and her Feminine Communities" (2016). All Theses and Dissertations. 5847.
Minerva Teichert, woman artist, American Western frontier, Latter-day Saint pioneer, network, collaboration, community